Tuesday 28 May 2013

Word aversion - a version.

In a recent post on Language Log, the University of Pennsylvania linguistics professor Mark Liberman defined the concept (new to me) of Word Aversion:

A feeling of intense, irrational distaste for the sound or sight of a particular word or phrase, not because its use is regarded as etymologically or logically or grammatically wrong, nor because it's felt to be over-used or redundant or trendy or non-standard, but simply because the word itself somehow feels unpleasant or even disgusting.

Common words that people are particularly averse to apparently include not just the obvious ones like puss and ooze and scab but also squab, cornucopia, panties, navel, brainchild, crud, slacks and fudge.

I suppose this is a pretext to mention my own particular hatred for the word whilst. But don't get me started.

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